"Many people want to change jobs," says career counselor Heidi Hoffman, "but they don't know how." She suggests these career-change steps:
1. Look inward. Explore what it is about your present job that makes you unhappy. By eliminating the parts of the job you dislike you may be able to use what you do like in a new career -- like going from nursing to medical sales. Or you might want to take an entirely different track.
2. Take a skills inventory. Assess what you can do by looking at your hobbies, past training, like and job experience. Ask friends what skills they feel you have. From that list, star the tasks you enjoy.
3. Investigate. Explore jobs which might use skills you like. Check libraries, career-development centers, college placement services. Recommended books for career changers: "Alternative Careers for Teachers" by Sandy Pollack (published by Harvard Common Press and can be ordered in some bookstores) and "What Color is Your Parachute" by Richard Boles. $4. Try it out. Take a course in a subject area you think you'd like to base a career on, get a part-time job or volunteer job in that field, join an organization of people who do what you want to do. $5. Keep up your energy, effort and enthusiasm during the job hunt. Tell everyone you know that you're looking for work, continue answering ads in the newspaper, trade magazines, newsletters, etc., check government employment bulletins and non-traditional sources of job information like women's centers and professional associations. Get your foot in the door at a place you want to work, then get into their internal training system.